Submitted by Todd Smith on Wed February 27, 2019.
One of the great features of the Biotech-Careers.org website is its biotechnology employer database. In Biotech-Careers.org, biotechnology (biotech) employers are companies and other organizations that are engaged in life sciences research, develop drugs and products, or provide services. Biotech is thus defined broadly to capture the breadth and depth of the industry. This broad definition is also used because students receiving biotech education in community, and other, colleges are learning and developing skills that can be suitable for many kinds of employers. For example, anyone learning to work with and clone DNA could go on to work in organizations that utilize molecular biology in product development, develop DNA-based diagnostics, or provide DNA sequencing services.
As of this writing, the Biotech-Careers.org biotech employer database contains nearly 7000 employers. Each employer is tagged with one or more key words that describe a business activity. Business activities can be general such as services, consulting, or drug development, or they can be highly specific and describe disease targets, (e.g. epilepsy, HIV), specific organisms (e.g. algae, cannabis), or specific products (e.g. cultured meat, nanoparticles). Business activity terms can also be "in between" and describe an area of activity. Cancer, assays, reagents, molecular diagnostics, and medical devices are examples of "in between" business areas. Many employers are tagged with multiple terms as way to describe what they do.
Over 400 terms are used in Biotech-Careers.org to describe what employers do. Each term has a page containing a map and and list of the employers that are tagged with that term. Because there are so many business activity terms, many of which are related in certain ways, it is worthwhile grouping terms into new kinds of views we call Business Areas.
As a first step, a "Biomedical Devices" business area page was created to group terms related to medical devices, tissue engineering, and other categories. Creating a biomedical device grouping was motivated by our collaboration with Forsyth Community College on their Skills for Biomedical Emerging Technology Applications (BETA Skills) grant. As previously noted, personalized medicine is changing biomedical manufacturing from a large-batch formats to individualized formats. Immunotherapies, such as CAR-T, and tissue engineering are, in essence, creating new kinds of medical devices. However, as these devices do not fit a traditional view of medical devices, new terms were added to Biotech-Careers.org to more appropriately describe the business activities of the companies working on such technologies. Together with medical devices, the new terns are added to a business area called "Biomedical Devices."
In the first release of the Biomedical Devices pages, the terms: 3D cell culture (3) | 3D Printing (4) | Biomanufacturing (21) | Biomaterials (19) | CAR-T (7) | Cell Culture (44) | Cell Therapies (39) | CRISPR (30) | Medical Devices (411) | Regenerative Medicine (37) | Stem Cells (100) were combined. Each term is linked to its term page, and the number in the parentheses indicates the number of employers tagged with that specific term. Employer numbers are dynamic because the industry is always changing; new employers are added and employers can be removed due to closing, or being acquired or merged with other employers. The terms can also be dynamic, new terms can be added, others may be combined or removed over time. Hence, as part ot developing this new capability, we also created the tools needed to update and maintain the lists. For example, the term selector page (Select Core Activities) allows one to combine terms and see how many employers will be included in a group.*
Navigating to the new pages is easy. From the Biotech-Careers.org home page click any Biotech Companies link. These are located in the Navigation Bar (always visible), in the first panel entitled "A Complete Source of Biotech Information," toward the bottom in a panel entitled "Biotech Companies and Organizations" (View maps), and in the site footer in the BIOTECH EMPLOYERS menu in the site footer (always visible). The Biotech Companies links return the Biotech Company and Employer Location Maps page. It has two primary spaces: 1) The maps images and links (US states, US, and world), and 2) View Biotech Employers Organized by Business Areas. This latter space displays "Cards" that list the business area and a link to its page.
Clicking a card returns the Business Area page with six regions that provide: 1) Social button links and a site search field, 2) A description of the business area, 3) The included terms, 4) A map of the employer locations with the page sponsor(s), 5) The number of employer locations and employers, and 6) The employer list. A toggle field, just above the map, allows one to view the employers by world locations or US locations. As of this writing, there are 691 biomedical device employers worldwide. 403 are more traditional medical device developers and the other 288 put the "Bio" in biomedical devices.
We hope you enjoy this new capability. Free feel to contact us with any suggestions.
*For those with permission to create new business areas, additional capabilities are used to get the term IDs and build a filter for the page.